How To Maintain A Cedar Fence
Cedar makes a great fencing material for a few different reasons. For one, cedar is rot and insect resistant due to the natural tannins found in the wood. Furthermore, as cedar ages, the grain of the wood begins to stand out and add to the beauty of the fence. Finally, a cedar fence can last for up to 40 years if it is properly maintained, so cedar makes for a practical fencing material. To get the most life out of your fence, you have to know how to maintain it properly.
Sealing Your Fence
While cedar has a natural resistance to rot, you can expand the life of your fence by treating it with a wood sealant. For example, if you paint a fence with linseed or tung oil, you will create a temporary barrier to the elements, which will help to preserve your wood. Linseed oil is great as a natural preservative, but it has its limits. For more long-lasting treatment, you should consider using a synthetic sealant, which will help to cut down the time between reapplications. Whether you use a natural or a synthetic sealant, you should reapply whenever the color starts to fade.
What to Do when You See Signs of Damage
No matter what you do to preserve your fence, it will eventually begin to wear out. The whole fence will not fall to pieces at one time. Instead, you might find a rotten fence slat here and a crumbling fence post there. When damage does occur, you can swap out the defective pieces. When deciding it if is more cost effective to make fence repairs or to replace the fence, simply consider how widespread the damage is. If the damage is widespread, then your best option is to tear out your fence and replace it.
Considerations for Reducing the Need for Maintenance
While cedar is good at repelling damage, it does have a weakness: it is not so good at repelling damage when it is in constant contact with a water source. Thus, you should consider replacing your fence posts with treated lumber, which should last longer than the natural cedar.
When you install a natural material like wood, you will have some upkeep. Using the right materials for the right jobs and sealing your fence whenever it begins to show signs of damage will help you to get the most life from your fence.